Welp, folks, today was my first “long” run for my half-marathon training program: 4 whole miles. (I know what you’re all saying right now: “Wiggs, that’s NOT a long run!” But for me it is – the farthest I’ve ever gone, ever, is 5.5 miles or so. So cut me some slack!) I was actually supposed to do my long run tomorrow, but the weather was so creepy (I love creepy weather) and Dave offered to come with me. I didn’t feel like I was working my ‘tocks off and I could still hold a conversation with My One the whole time, but it turns out that we were running 10-minute miles! That’s the same speed that made me want to punch myself in the face on Tuesday. Dave said that running on a treadmill always feels harder than running on land, and I definitely agree with him.
I had many, many reasons to be glad for my run this morning. But since I’m only picking one reason per workout, I’ll say it was the weather. Right now, the fog is thick as pea soup. When you walk around in it, you can feel it on your eyeballs. Every couple of minutes there’s a loud clap of thunder (like in Poltergeist!). While I was running I felt so cool and badass that I didn’t even notice how sweaty I was getting! And I never sweat. So that’s a big deal.
At the half-way point of our run, I said to Dave, “Would you mind if we walked for a sec once we turn around?” I was expecting a hearty refusal, but instead he said, “Sure, if you like.” Immediately, I said, “Nevermind, let’s just keep going.” And we kept the same pace for the rest of the workout. I’ve realized that if I allow myself to slow down or rest – if I say to myself, “Wiggs, it’s okay to take a breather. Just go for another minute [or some other short-term benchmark] and then you can slow down,” – I actually end up not taking any rest. On the other hand, for example, if I say to myself, “Don’t slow down! Don’t stop! You can’t!” then it’s all I can think about and ultimately my workout is worse for it. I asked Dave what he does when he feels like he wants to stop and he says that he “bargains” with himself. Example: “If I keep going at this pace, I’m going to have a great day.” He told me that his cross-country teammates would basically insult themselves into working harder: “You’re better than this. You suck if you slow down.” I think it’s interesting how people keep pushing forward when they start to feel the urge to lag.
Your turn, my friends: what do you say to yourself when you feel like you want to stop? How do you keep yourself working hard when boredom or pain or frustration nips at your heels?